Is it too late to have a will drafted?

On Behalf of | Jul 14, 2023 | elder law

Having a will drafted is something that many people put off for various reasons. Perhaps the business of daily life gets in the way, or you are just reluctant to think about things such as your death or becoming incapacitated.

However, sometimes an event will cause you to realize that a will or estate plan is something you need, but that might not always be possible, depending on the circumstances.

Technically, you have up until the day you die to draft a will or set up an estate plan, but there are various requirements you must meet to have a legally valid will drafted. One of these is that you must be legally competent.

What legal competency means

This means you must know what you are doing when making decisions. For example, when you are having a will drafted, you must know what assets you own and their value and be able to state which heirs you would like to receive the assets.

Additionally, you must know that the document you are signing is a will and what its intended effect is.

As we get older, it is natural to experience some cognitive decline. Therefore, competency when it comes to estate planning issues can quickly become a complex area.

Legal competency is a complex topic

A diagnosis such as dementia can certainly be a factor in deciding whether you have the legal capacity to create a will or estate plan, but it is not a determining factor. You may still have the required legal capacity.

In short, it is never too late to have a will drafted, but it is probably better to do it sooner rather than later, to avoid questions about your legal capacity. You might be concerned if you are already an older individual, but if you are considered legally competent, you can typically have a will drafted.

There are other requirements you must meet to draft a will, aside from competency. It is best to learn about these requirements from a trusted professional.